Monday, November 05, 2012

Election Day 2012: Virtue or Vice?

Tuesday November 6, 2012. Election Day. The results of this presidential election won't just be a distant decision happening within a place hundreds of miles away. We will feel the results of this election. All of us will feel them! Whether we believe it or even understand this fact or not, it doesn't matter. This country will never be the same.

Literally half of our country's people hope for a future led by the man who has led for the last four years like no man before him. The other half prays for the man whom they believe will lead America back to it's founding roots and Father's wisdom. Both believe in an America: The Old and The New.

The argument has been made that America is meant to change and evolve as the times and people change. As we gain perspective and diversity. Understanding. Wisdom. However, it has also been said that any virtue taken to the extreme, can become a vice.

I am not a scholar. I am a high school graduate with some college education. I have traveled the country as a professional nanny. I have served as a Christian missionary among my country's people and their military members. I am a wife. I am a student. I am a student's wife. I am a mother. And I am an American.

I know what it feels like to be trapped by unemployment. I also know what it feels like to fight to be free of this trap. I know what it feels like to feed my children thoughtlessly because of government assistance only to have it suddenly taken away because my income level exceeded the maximum. I also know how it feels to feed my children a home cooked meal that I planned and paid for out of my own personal earnings. I know what it feels like to get an astoundingly large medical bill in the mail and to know that the government has paid it in full. I also know what it feels like to be diagnosed with a serious illness days before the reapplication date for said government insurance only to be denied because I earn too much money.

I know what it feels like to be disqualified for progressing. I choose to progress anyway!  I choose to plan ahead for hard times and fight to be free of the rose colored glasses of government assistance.
I will forever be grateful for their offered assistance. But I will forever fight against being forced to accept their offer.

Government as a framework for a country can be considered a virtue. Government as the foundation of a country will become its vice. May God bless us all as we choose the future of this great nation.


Janee said...

You know I love you and respect you Lena, but I just don't get this post. I just don't understand this mentality.

I have never been on government assistance. Ever. But it does serve a purpose clearly. And I would take it if I needed to, just as you did.

The government never forced you to take assistance. You did it willingly. Out of necessity. And thank God it was there for you and your family when you needed it. Does that make you lazy? Does that make you a leech? Does that make you entitled? Because that is what Republicans say you are. What would the other option have been? Starve? Go bankrupt from medical bills? That is the Romney plan.

I will tell you the difference between us liberals and conservatives - I do not think it is acceptable for women and children to go without food or healthcare in America. I think we should all contribute for the greater good of our country (which has been labeled by the right wing noise machine as "socialism" - it's not). I also do not think people end up poor or on government assistance because they are lazy or unrighteous.

I know lots of conservatives (mostly young, Mormon families that went to law school with me) who happily took government assistance but are offended at the idea of anyone else taking it. It boggles my mind. I have never felt bitter at the fact that my tax dollars contributed to the survival of those Republican Mormon friends of mine in law school (who think that no one else is entitled to welfare).

Do you honestly think everyone else on welfare thinks they are entitled to it? That they are standing around waiting for a handout? Do you feel that way about yourself? Because I can tell you, most recipients are just like you. Not the perpetual welfare rats conservatives love to hate.

Dan got laid off in 2008 when the market crashed. I was pregnant with Jadan. Our home in Michigan lost half of its equity that year too. Welfare could have been a reality for us if my family wasn't in a position to step in.

But look at us now...with the recovery Dan has secured a job making double with benefits. Because of legislation under Obama, more women and children will have healthcare. We were able to save our house from foreclosure because of the Making Home Affordable Act. Because Obama reformed student loans, I don't have to be a slave to my law school debt and can get a job I love and pay my loan back based on my income.

You see, I'm voting based on the policies that hurt me and the policies that have helped me. Not something abstract. Not ideology.

It honestly sounds like we are fighting for the same thing. We are both Americans who love our country dearly. I just don't get the disconnect.

Lena Baron said...

Love you too J! So let's end this conversation with this: My point is not that accepting government assistance means you are lazy. My point is that I don't believe we should ever be forced to use the government assistance in the future if we want to choose a different way. And if I don't want ANY assistance or insurance, I don't want to be penalized. And finally, I believe that this "issue" is just the tip of the iceberg of something bigger. We are polar opposite on this, and thank Heavens we are free to be that way. We'll never change each other's minds. But at least now we've put it down for the record.

Harmony said...

Wow Lena,
I just couldn't leave without posting a comment after reading the most disagreeable last coment. First of all this is your blog where you have the right to voice your opinion without being attacked for. I also believe that we need to go back to our roots. Our founding fathers did not set up a government for their day only. I firmly believe as many of our founding fathers attested that God is the inspireer of this government. I believe that if it is not working for us today it is because we have strayed from our origins.

Janee said...

I wouldn't go so far as saying we'll never change each other's minds. I'm open minded and consider everything from everyone. My views have evolved over time based on further study, life experience, etc. I think one of the reasons our country is struggling right now is because we are so polarized that we (I should say Congress), would rather see America fail than come to any agreement. We need to listen to eachother. We need to be open to new ideas.

So your problem is the healthcare mandate then? It's just like having required auto insurance. It isn't an assault on our freedom. In the simplest terms, more people paying into the pool means lower premiums and more coverage for more people.

I hope you didn't find my comment offensive. I think sometimes when we allow ourselves to live in an echo chamber, sometimes what we say comes off as offensive when it's merely disagreement.

As for the founding fathers - my degree is in political science and I've studied our govt and constitution at great length in college and law school. They wanted religious FREEDOM. The right to practice what they wanted and the right not to believe at all. It is the Establishment clause. Our founding fathers did not want nor envision a Christian plutocracy for this country.

I hope you don't feel attacked Lena. You know that is not my intent. I'm passionate yes but I would never attack your beliefs (I will call them out and challenge them if given the opportunity though lol!)

I totally won't be offended if you feel the need to delete my comments. It is your blog! Voice away girl!

Wayman Studios said...

We are not forced to have automobile insurance...we can choose to own and drive a vehicle. If we do not have a vehicle, we do not have to buy insurance. Comparing the two is like comparing apples and oranges.

Wayman Studios said...

Sorry Lena...I am ok if you delete mine as well...the last comment just hit on an invalid point that annoys me. Love ya!

Lena Baron said...

Thanks to all of you for sharing your thoughts and opinions. No I don't feel attacked. I might if I didn't know you J. But I wasn't shocked by your thoughts.:) Do I love that we disagree? Not at all. But that's the beauty of America.

I have been driving all afternoon so I could spend tonight with Leif and go to some meetings in Flag. Of course the election has been on my mind. I realized this morning that I hadn't even mentioned half of the reasons why I feel the way I do about my vote.

But right now I'm not going to get in to all of them. I'm just going to sit here and watch history unfold.

Harmony said...

Strange God sure does show up a lot if the founding fathers didn't want faith to be part of it. In God we trust, That they are endowed by their creator, one nation under God and such. I guess all that got in there by accident.

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